Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bankroll Challenge, Part Deux

So now that I've got a little bit of money back in my account, I'm revisiting my bankroll challenge. In retrospect, I hate calling it a "bankroll challenge" because I think it's a bit misleading. I didn't start this because I wanted to challenge myself by building a bankroll from scratch. I just want the damn bankroll. But, being a man of limited financial resources, I'm forced to take the long route. In the end, the grind proved to be to much for me to handle, at least for now. Bankroll Challenge,1 - Matt, 0.

At the start of my challenge, I posted about five obstacles I felt I'd have to overcome to make the challenge work: patience, focus, aggressiveness, dedication, and attitude. In the end, I'd say I failed in each category, but I think I did better in some than in others.

Patience - At the table, patience has never been a problem for more, except that some would probably argue that I may have too much. In terms of the challenge, I was patient until my blowup at the end. Before then, I rarely jumped up the stakes, only for an occasional Mookie.

Focus - My focus waned as the challenge progressed. Towards the end, I started multi-tabling more often. I've gotten better at this, but I'm still not quite ready to incorporate multi-tabling into my repertoire.

Aggressiveness - This applies solely to the poker table, and I never felt like this became a problem.

Dedication - I did stray from the challenge too often. I donked around in the cash games more than I should have, and I probably should have cut down on the number of token games that I played. In addition, I never put in the dedication to analyze my play and seek improvement when I was struggling.

Attitude - I let the grind of the challenge affect my attitude a bit too much, and I think that was the catalyst that started my blowup. In addition, I let myself get more & more affected by losses. I got too fixated on trying to force myself to move up to the next level, so the losses started weighing on me more. The closer I got to $500, the more frustrated I got with each loss, which was silly. I should have just trusted myself enough to stay confident in my game, and I'd eventually get there.

I don't want to lament any more on my blowup - it's time to move on. It's a new start, a new challenge, and with that, I've got some new rules to BREAK follow:

1. I'm keeping the buyin levels the same. $5 SNGs (or the $6 turbo brethren) until $500, $10 until $1000, $20 until $1500, and so on. With the exception of the $5 games, I'll drop down to the lower level if my bankroll drops 10 buyins.

2. Win or lose, no more than 1 token game per week until I get to $500. Since I'm trying to build a bankroll, I don't need to spend my time trying to accumulate tokens. Had I not played any token games, I probably would have been at $500 a long time ago.

3. Play at least one multi-table SNG a week. Even if it's just a two-table game, I need to get more multi-table exposure. More on that in a bit.

4. Stay away from cash games. I'm positive that I can succeed at a cash table at some point, but I'm not ready to handle the swings I encounter just yet.

5. No poker on Tuesday or Friday. I need to take a break every now & then, so I've declared these two days as non-poker days (exception: poker books).

6. Incorporate more MTT play into my schedule. This one is difficult, due to time constraints with school right now, but this is something I must do. I'm a tournament player more than anything else (I didn't say a good one). It's what I enjoy the most & I think it best suits my style of play. I'll make due with multi-table SNGs when I can, but when the opportunity arises for a MTT, and the bankroll allows it, I need to play these more often.

7. No restrictions on withdrawing money. I don't need to add undue stress in my life by struggling over decisions to withdraw money. If I stick to the first 6 rules 100%, not only should my bankroll start to grow again, but I should be able to replenish whatever I withdraw anyways. One fact that is true is that, over the past several months, I have been a winning SNG player, so I shouldn't be discouraged by dips in my bankroll, whether it's due to losses or withdrawals.

8. Analyze my game more. To me, this is like stretching before working out. I HATE stretching, and when I don't do it, I don't notice anything until I'm really in pain, even though it's just as important as working out. I hate taking the time to analyze my game, but if I'm going to improve beyond my current abilities, I have to put in the effort to do so.

9. Keep track of wins\losses\profit\hr, etc. Not only should I be tracking my hand stats, I should also be tracking financial statistics. I'll never be able to fully declare I'm a winning player until I do this.

10. The most cliche' rule of them all: have fun. But this truly is the most important. I've been through this once, and I know what happens when I'm not having fun. The first nine rules don't mean a thing if I can't stick to the last one.

Again, I'm not as much concerned with trying to pull a Ferguson & accomplish a goal of building a bankroll from scratch, although I'll admit it will be quite an accomplishment itself if I'm able to. I'm just concerned with getting the bankroll itself so that I have the flexibility to play the games I want to play. When the opportunity arises, I'll try to accelerate my bankroll by making intermittent deposits, but I don't plan on doing that very often, so the majority of my bankroll will have to be earned. In light of everything that I've gone through the past couple of months, I'm confident that I can make this succeed. I'm reminded of a quote from Batman Begins (which I watched again this past weekend. Hands down, it is the best Batman movie ever made, and really, it stands up against more critically acclaimed films as a great film too). As said to Bruce Wayne first by his father, then again by Alfred - "Why do we fall, Master Wayne? So that we can learn to pick ourselves back up."


At November 15, 2007 at 2:54 PM, Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Nice post man. GOOD LUCK!!! I really like #8-10... Love the "stretching analogy" on #8. Very true! And I keep tellin' myself to start keepin' more in-depth records myself, but NEVER do. And yes, having FUN is crucial!

Good luck! Hit me up whenever you crave some live action!

At November 15, 2007 at 5:19 PM, Blogger Instant Tragedy: Just Add Water said...


Why do we fall?

Because Waffles pushed us!



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